I am trying to import some users from a phpBB forum and found an odd thing: in phpBB I have some users with weird characters in the username. Eg: Henriëtte .

The problem is that in Drupal I can't create 2 users with the username "Henriëtte" and "henriette". Apparently "Henriëtte" = "henriette" and this will give an warning saying that the username already exists.

Is there any way to import both usernames in Drupal? Thanks.


The database encoding is utf8_general_ci. Also, after further investigation the user_load_by_name() function is responsible for returning a valid user even if one letter is different (ë > e). Also, user_load_by_name will in the end use entity_load() to load the user object.

  • 1
    What sort of encoding is your database using?
    – Darvanen
    Mar 3, 2015 at 11:47
  • utf8_general_ci Mar 3, 2015 at 13:38
  • That was the problem. I changed it to utf8_bin and now it is working as expected Mar 4, 2015 at 10:11
  • That's good news
    – Darvanen
    Mar 4, 2015 at 10:54

1 Answer 1


Found the answer.

The encoding should be utf8_bin not utf8_general_ci

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